Social Media Hacks for Your Organization | npENGAGE

Digital Life Hacks: Savvy Social Media

By on Dec 15, 2017


A person holding an iPhone, getting ready to check their Facebook Newsfeed

Did you know there are now over 2.3 billion active social media users?  As usage numbers continue to grow across all age groups, it is safe to say that social media has become an essential element of digital marketing.  With so many potential connections and over 104 social media networks, utilizing this powerful communication channel to support your campaign or event may feel overwhelming.

Fear not, as help is on the way! Through these simple steps and reviewing Savvy Social Media Webinar you will be armed with the tools and resources needed to create your next social media strategy with confidence.

  1. Focus on the social channels that work with your brand

When it comes to social, you can’t do it all. Therefore, focus on quality over quantity. Commit only to a certain number of social networks that you’re going to be able to manage well. Hone in on the ones where your supporters are and where they are most likely to engage with your content.
Think about the type of content you have to share and which social channels are most appropriate for that type of content.

  • Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are for social networking
  • Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are great for sharing media
  • WordPress, Tumblr, and Medium are for blogging and publishing networks
  • Reddit, Quora, and Digg provide discussion channels
  • Pinterest and Flipboard are for bookmarking and content sharing


  1. Grow an engaged audience: The more engagement, the more you grow!

Know how your audience differs on each social channel. For instance, you may not want to publish content on SnapChat that is intended for your Baby Boomers since, as of 2017, 45% of Snapchat users are aged between 18-24.

You also should know what content performs the best on what network. For instance, LinkedIn isn’t for sharing personal fundraising appeals, but it is a great network to tout corporate sponsorships, talk about employee giving, and share innovative ways your nonprofit is working to make the world better.

Each network will have a different peak impression time so be sure to schedule posts for when your content is most likely to be seen.

Use the tools provided. Facebook, for example, has Facebook Groups and Messenger which allows you to communicate more directly with your supporters. You can also motivate supporters to engage with you over social via email. Encourage them to join your channels and share your pages with their friends.

For the best results, target your most engaged and well-connected supports first as they will have a higher propensity to respond to calls-to-action and get others involved. Monitor what content is performing well with this group and give them more of it!

  1. Get specific with social advertising

Free advertising on social is almost extinct. Facebook is considering moving all organic page content to a new, segregated feed. Algorithms on other channels commonly push down business content to motivate businesses and nonprofits to pay. If you haven’t already, it is time to come to terms with the idea of paying your best social channels for premium visibility.

By leveraging social advertising, you can ensure that your posts reach your intended audience and aren’t left out of critical news feeds.  Retargeting should be a constant advertising goal to fuel your multichannel marketing approach. Website visitors, one-time donors, lapsed donors, and those who open emails but don’t give should be some of your targets. Use social listening to display advertising to retarget supporters who are currently talking about your keywords or using your hashtags.

After you identify your best supporters who respond in positive ways to your paid content, be sure to have Facebook and Instagram target a look-a-like audience to find more people like your best supporters. This will help you continue to fuel your email acquisition and also your footprint on Facebook.

Don’t forget there are other channels that can be very effective for social advertising.  Engagement rates on Instagram are 58% higher than Facebook, LinkedIn users have the most disposable income with 75% making over $50k a year, and 41% of all 18-34-year-olds in the U.S. will interact with Snapchat today.

  1. Make it personal

According to a recent study done by Accenture, 55% of Americans surveyed said they would give more time and money to nonprofits if they made their communication with them more personal. 1 in 4 said they’d give at least 25% more.

So, think about how you can communicate impact and add value to your conversations on social. And be sure to share “social love” in ways such as:

  • Saying “Thank You” when someone shares your content
  • Responding back when someone mentions you in a post
  • Re-sharing pictures/videos of those who attended your events
  • Thanking donors who give to a DIY or P2P fundraiser
  • Holding live chats/videos to engage with your audience
  1. Look for ways to engage influencers

Influencer marketing is growing at a faster rate than all other types of marketing techniques, including paid advertising on social.  While this technique has been widely used by for-profits for years, nonprofits are now catching on by finding social media ambassadors who are willing to donate their networks and voices to support their causes.

You can begin looking for ambassadors in your database among your existing supporters. These influencers can provide great benefit to your institution by sharing your campaign message with their social networks to reach hundreds or thousands of fresh faces.

Create an ambassador portal on your website or start a Facebook Group specifically for ambassadors of your institution and use messager to stay in touch. Build an incentive program for ambassadors who recruit others to take action (gamification). Thank them when they do what you ask just like you’d thank a monetary donor.

  1. Connect your social to overarching campaign goals

Don’t put too much stock into vanity metrics, such as number of followers, page growth statistics, or number of impressions. Instead, try to tie social media engagement metrics to your larger goals. Remember that the objective is to increase donors, advocates, and volunteers.  You also want to drive cost per email down along with increasing donor conversations via email and social.

  1. Keep learning and experimenting

The world of social is always changing. Keep attending webinars, reading up on the latest best practices, and don’t be afraid to try something new and track the response. You may be surprised what gets the most engagement these days.

Want more? Make sure to view the Digital Hack Web Series




Social Worker turned business developer Jamie Muller is passionate about bringing the latest technology solutions to nonprofits so they can make a greater impact.  She currently serves as one of Blackbaud’s subject matter experts for social influencer engagement, social listening, digital advocacy, marketing, and fundraising solutions as well as navigating nonprofits with complex needs. Jamie has over ten years of nonprofit experience with local, national, and International organizations and also owns her own small business. She resides in Lovettsville, VA and is a proud wife, mother, board member for Project Knitwell, and serves as a Lamaze International Conference Chair.

Comments (2)

  • stacystone says:

    It is a useful information in quality article. Thanks for sharing such a outstanding new topic

  • Gregory Runyon says:

    I am also agree with your digital life hacks. As my experience your article have all the details. Many many thanks for sharing with us the great tips.

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